Gael Greene is an American institution. She became the restaurant critic at New York magazine in fall 1968, at the beginning of American restaurant culture. As a pioneering foodie (a term she coined in 1980), she hung out in the Hamptons with the likes of Craig Claiborne, Pierre Franey and Jacques Pepin. She’s written numerous books, including novels and her memoir, Insatiable: Tales from a Life of Delicious Excess, published in 2006. In 1981 she co-founded Citymeals-on-Wheels along with James Beard to help fund meals for homebound elderly New Yorkers. Greene continues to write for her weekly newsletter; her website, insatiable-critic.com, includes her journal, BITE.
Behind the Hedges: What do you love about the Hamptons?
Gael Greene : I love the smell of the air, walking on the beach, falling in love in an A-frame, taking two ferries to the North Shore with people I love.
BTH: How long have you been coming here?
GG: Since 1973. [Back in 1982, at Craig Claiborne’s legendary Hamptons brthday party, Greene served mushroom strudel.]
BTH: What are some of your favorite restaurants in the Hamptons?
BTH: What are some of your favorite local products?
GG: Pies. Whenever I come out, my first stop is Round Swamp Farm for a fruit pie.
BTH: What East End architecture—or site—do you find inspiring?
GG: The beach shack at Main Beach. I love that it hasn’t blown away.
BTH: Describe your perfect day on the East End in detail.
GG: Read my novel Blue Skies, No Candy—no need to imagine.
BTH: If you could have anyone at your Hamptons dinner party, dead or alive, who would you invite?
GG: My late husband Don Forst, James Beard, Julia Child, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Cole Porter. I hope they don’t hate each other and get annoyed by the competition!